On May 19, 2022, EnvironFocus hosted our monthly webinar on “Creating Strong Global Partnerships for Sustainability”. This webinar focused on the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17: Partnerships for the Goals. Understanding and scrutinizing global governance processes and partnerships is of crucial importance in a time of ever-expanding transnational activity.
Unlike the other goals, which focus on specific topics, SDG 17 is about the need for the global community to work together as a whole to deliver on the ambitions of the 2030 agenda. The goal itself promotes a global partnership for sustainable development, led by governments, to strengthen international cooperation and development assistance. This global partnership works alongside multi-stakeholder partnerships at the global, regional, national, and subnational levels. The main goal of partnerships for the SDGs is to secure a sustainable future for present and future generations.
For more information on SDG 17 and its targets, click here.
The webinar event, hosted by Obie Agusiegbe, CEO of EnvironFocus, featured presentations from two expert panelists: Bruce Taylor and Dr. Mofoluso Fagbeja.
Bruce Taylor holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Waterloo. After working for other consulting firms, he founded Enviro-Stewards in 2000, which is a Best for the World classified B corporation and the only Canadian company to win a Global SDG Award. Bruce has three decades of experience in the fields of water and energy conservation, pollution prevention, sustainable development, and treatment process design. He has won the highest awards in the Pollution Prevention field in both Canada and the United States, and was recently selected as the top environmental consultant in Canada for 2022.
Bruce’s presentation, “Partnering to Scale-Up Impact on the Other Goals”, focused on capacity-building partnerships between the Global North and South for SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Bruce is the Founder of the Safe Water Social Venture Project, a project to empower communities in South Sudan and Uganda to construct water purification systems using locally available materials. He highlighted how through this project, he has come to learn that conventional partnerships aimed at aiding communities in the Global South risk undermining local capacities and in some cases, even worsening the situation. Bruce believes that partners should always be asking the strategic question: “How do you work with local capacity, rather than wiping it out and replacing it?”
We learnt through Bruce’s insightful presentation that Increasing local capacity via partnership means listening first, and approaching partnership with humility and an attitude of mutual respect. What Bruce found most effective through his past activities was building up the skills and training in developing communities on target issues so they can sustain and grow the initiatives on their own, long into the future.
Some memorable quotes from Bruce’s presentation are:
“Our tagline is ‘Engineering Change’ and engineering is the easy part. If I want change, I need the sanitation supervisor, I need the maintenance manager, the quality manager, the line operators, to all agree that we are going to change in a certain way.”
“If you want to have a bigger impact, you need to bring everybody else on board. That is where partnering for the Goals comes in.”
Dr. Mofoluso Fagbeja is the Assistant Director and Head of the Space Education Outreach Programme Division at the UN-Affiliated African Regional Center for Space Science and Technology Education in English. He holds a Masters of Science in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a PHD in Air Quality Management from the University of the West of England, Bristol. Dr. Fagbeja deploys research techniques, stakeholder and institutional engagements, and global best practices to offer solutions to key international, national, and regional socio-economic, environmental, resource management and humanitarian concerns. He supports knowledge-based policy development and implementation for sustainable development.
Dr. Fagbeja’s presentation, “Partnerships for Data and Technology Integration into SDG Implementation in Developing Countries”, focused on capacity-building partnerships between the Global North and South for SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. He highlighted how partnerships are growing between the North and South but are fundamentally limited by significant barriers such as the lack of access to internet and connectivity, data capacity, and underdeveloped technological infrastructure in low and middle-low income countries (LMICs). Without efficient data and technological capacities and infrastructure, the progress of LMICs on the SDGs is severely impeded.
We learnt through Dr. Fagbeja’s presentation the critical importance of North-South partnerships that empower indigenous capacities to support continuous impact on the SDGs. LMICs require indigenous and innovative technologies for:
- Access to broadband
- Achieving energy efficiency
- Building resilient and sustainable cities
- Tracking and managing environmental degradation
- Building early warning systems for climate-induced disaster risk reduction
- Optimal use of available land for agriculture to attain food security
- Managing infectious diseases and epidemics
- Managing demographic dynamics
Some memorable quotes from Dr. Fagbeja’s presentation include:
“The existing North-South partnerships on data and technology utilization have not adequately addressed issues of local independence in the continuity of data generation, collection, and advanced analysis required to meet the SDGs in LMICs.”
“Developing countries are not actually able to participate in carbon credit schemes because they do not have the requisite knowledge to estimate their carbon footprints to begin with.”
EnvironFocus thanks our speakers for sharing their expert knowledge with us and creating an atmosphere of learning and thoughtful discussions.
Also, thank you to all who attended this event. We hope that you found this webinar informative and worthwhile.
To pay for the full video, visit our webinar recordings page on our website.
EnvironFocus Webinar (EW) Series
The primary goal of the EW Series is to provide our attendees with sustainability focused learning from a global perspective. The events are also an opportunity for clean-tech and sustainability organizations to showcase their projects to our vast international audience.
Our EnvironFocus Webinar events are held on the third week of every month from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM EST.
Our next webinar will cover SDG 5: Gender Equality, and will be held on June 16, 2022. You can stay updated and be ready to save your spot by following us on our social media pages and subscribing to our mailing list here.
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